On Sunday, I talked about how to keep Christ central at Christmas. You can see that sermon HERE.
I couldn’t share all the suggestions that came my way. A couple weeks ago I asked for your help in compiling a list of Advent ideas that you did with your family. I thought you might be interested in seeing what people sent me. There are some great ideas on here about how to keep your focus on Jesus during the Christmas season. If you want more ideas than what I shared on Sunday – here are some of the suggestions (not all):
What you can read:
- Read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth and Old Testament references about His coming.
- Read the Christmas story using a children’s Bible
- Read John Piper’s advent devotional
- Read a Christmas devotional on your phone or tablet using the YouVersion app
- Read Bible Gateway devotionals online
What you can do:
- Collect one new Christmas ornament each year that describes the birth of Jesus, so when you look at your Christmas tree you see a representation of Christ’s birth.
- Donate and serve in food cupboards
- Light advent candles, sing, pray. You light one candle each week for four weeks – each candle represents a person in the Christmas story and you can read Bible passages about each person
- Use a nativity advent wreath
- Fill boxes for Operation Christmas Child
- Read Truth in the Tinsel ebook devotions and complete the activity with each lesson
- If your children are young, make a birthday cake for Jesus and sing happy birthday
- Give Jesus a birthday present – Talk as a family about what we can DO to please God and make Jesus happy since we can’t give him a physical gift
- Hand out candy canes with Scripture references on them to sales clerks at stores. You can say “thank you” to those serving around the holidays and also remind them what Christmas is really about.
- Sponsor a Compassion International child and give some of the money that you would have spent on your own children to that child. Talk about this with your kids.
- Go through your child’s toys with them and donate some to children in need
- Put a manger seen in your house or somewhere you will see it
- Go caroling at a nursing home or hospital
- Do a service project
- Give toward Advent Conspiracy
- The Christmas Angel – A spin off Elf on the Shelf but focused on others rather than on “me” – help kids understand the true meaning of Christmas and serve others. A sample calendar is below.
What you can watch or listen to:
- Listen to the album “Behold the Lamb of God” by Andrew Peterson and talk about it as a family.
- Listen to the Messiah
- Watch The Nativity Story
- Listen to Christmas music from Christian artists
Just remember – it isn’t your job to make sure others celebrate rightly. Your job is to make sure you do.
But please don’t forget my last point… give up guilt and celebrate Christmas in a big way. It is a dim reflection of the beauty of the Gospel.